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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Store.

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Have you ever really engaged the 20 to 30 year old employee working in the workforce?

Try it…you will be surprised and afraid.

I don’t know why I decided to pursue this, however I have received such honest, uncensored feedback. After all, who am I. Just an ordinary person purchasing something. No one needs to hold back or conceal their true feelings and thoughts.

Leading question, looking the individual squarely in the eyes, “How are your student loans going?” WOW!

The first few times were rather stunning and thought provoking. Expecting just a simple comment such as making headway or I am up to my ears in debt, the individuals were so desperate to talk to someone that they would take me to a secluded area and then down load. And I do not mean for a couple of minutes and some even made additional contact with me.

It is not just one or two people. I had noticed that so many seemed to be well educated and provided great service and of course many of us know why.

They Need Us to Listen to Them. We need to encourage them to Speak to Us. They are tunning out with various technology because they feel and believe that we are not interested in their plight and do not care.

Let them know that we Do Care!

I listened to countless stories…. staggering amounts of debt, feelings of being misled and taken advantage of by the schools of higher education, false promises, lost hope, feelings of shame having to return home achieving a worthless degree, being dependent on aging parents and now doing a job that is disliked and taking part time courses to obtain a degree in a field that might have better prospects.

It did not matter where I went or who I spoke to, same response. This is not a situation that can, nor should be ignored. I do not believe they will tolerate this situation as the years drag on. First few years, but 10, 20 years?

I really pondered what could I possibly do that would have any impact. Listening, being empathetic is possible. Being able to relate is fine since misery loves misery. Getting a message out through an on line forum such as BEFORE IT’s NEWS.

Turn this into somethig more, a Teaching moment. I decided to problem solve with them. Since I am unrelated lots of options could be explored and challenged.

Confronted with shame about having to live with their parents—You are really lucky that you have parents who are willing to have you return.

Can not afford rent and pay student loan–May have to accept that you do need to return home. I explained my agreement with my boomerangers, no rent but 30% of income was to be directed towards paying off student loan. Wow! That was greeted with such enthusiasm. Each one said that there was more than fair! Many asked me how to approach their parents.

A written agreement, offer to do some chores, Thank them! Faces lit up. Hope was stirred. A way out.

Fear on both sides can cause paralysis and allow the situation to fester. With my own children I knew the situation and offered them sanctuary on the basis of the repayment structure. They were free to accept or decline. One initially declined but saw the success with the second and decided to do the same. Progress is being made.

As parents one way to cope with the boomerangers without having lives completely turned upside down is to build a house within a house. Nothing elaborate just a wall to seperate their living area from your living area. Of course there will be co-mingeling such as use of the kitchen but then most will not be on the same schedule anyway and have their own social activities.  They have been growing up during those 4 years.

COULD SOMEONE PLEASE LISTEN TO THEM AND TO ME?

Republican Party Candidates….How about providing some financial encouragement and relief to parents who are stepping up and helping our children repay this debt. Default is much more expensive..trust me.

We are teaching our children important values, stepping up and being responsible and learning to overcome adversity. Additional costs are being assumed in the form of electricity, water and food.

We need a strong leader that is going to tackle this “Elephant in the Room” in a non conventional manner. The same old, same old and tired response does not work any more. The system is broken.

The student loan situation is a crisis and must be addressed. Incentives for society to reach out, bridge the gap and save a generation that is going to be lost!

 

 

 



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